Shakespeare Park for 2018 ASLA Annual Meeting

October 17, 2018

2018 ASLA Annual Meeting Field Sessions

Ground Reconsidered is proud to be part of five Field Sessions at the 2018 ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo on Friday, October 19. Read more about each session below or follow the links to the individual Field Session pages.

Reinventing the River: Central and North Delaware Waterfronts | FS-004
Industrial uses and infrastructure have long separated Philadelphia’s residents from the Delaware riverfront. On a walk of this emerging landscape, we’ll visit pop-ups and permanent landscapes with their designers, talk strategy with the agencies overseeing riverfront development and see sites poised to unlock the river’s future. Ground Reconsidered’s Julie Bush is a speaker.

Discover Bartram’s Garden and Bartram’s Mile Along the Schuylkill River Trail | FS-005
Experience Bartram’s Garden and the Bartram’s Mile section of the Schuylkill River Trail. Take a walk along the Schuylkill riverfront that has been reclaimed from its industrial past and admire living collections at Bartram’s Garden that continue to grow, bloom, and reproduce as they have since 1728. Ground Reconsidered’s Brad Thornton is a speaker.

Academia in Arcadia: Design, Sustainable Stewardship, and Pedagogy on Swarthmore’s Campus | FS-007
As Swarthmore’s Scott Arboretum prepares to celebrate its 90th anniversary as an arboretum and home to one of the most prestigious liberal arts colleges, this field session explores the intersection of campus planning, sustainable stewardship, design, pedagogy, and community outreach in the art and science of a public garden. Ground Reconsidered’s Kristen Loughry is a speaker.

Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway—100 Years | FS-009
Part of the City Beautiful movement, this mile-long civic vision of architecture and landscape, in its centennial year, has evolved into an incomparable cultural campus of exceptional museums, gardens, and parks amid a vibrant growing city. Learn how it continues to be influenced by contemporary landscape architects and civic leadership. Ground Reconsidered’s Julie Bush is a speaker.

University of Pennsylvania Campus—A Cultural and Environmental Legacy | FS-011
This field session showcases Penn’s 300-acre campus, with more than 180 buildings and 100 acres of landscaped lawns, gardens, and athletic fields designed by notable landscape architects and designers over time. It highlights the iconic spaces, recent projects, and new directions in landscape design and ecological management currently under way at Penn. Ground Reconsidered’s Karen Skafte is a speaker.

The Discovery Center ribbon cutting ceremony
The Discovery Center ribbon cutting ceremony
The Discovery Center
The Discovery Center ribbon cutting ceremony
The Discovery Center ribbon cutting ceremony
The Discovery Center ribbon cutting ceremony
The Discovery Center ribbon cutting ceremony
The Discovery Center ribbon cutting ceremony
The Discovery Center ribbon cutting ceremony

October 9, 2018

Grand Opening for The Discovery Center

On Friday, September 28, Ground Reconsidered attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and official opening of the Discovery Center, a partnership between the National Audubon Society (Audubon Pennsylvania) and the Philadelphia Outward Bound School.  The site is on a decommissioned water reservoir in East Fairmount Park near the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood.  Originally built in the late 1800’s to provide clean water to Philadelphians, the 37-acre reservoir was closed to the public in the 1970s.  Since that time, nature has taken over, creating a unique urban oasis and a critical stopover point for migrating birds.  Audubon and Outward Bound have teamed up to save and sustain this important site and to open the education center for environmental conservation and leadership development.

As the Landscape Architect on the project, Ground Reconsidered worked with Digsau to recreate the initial feeling of discovery as you walk up the steep slope of the man-made berm to the large expansive view of the reservoir lake.  Plants native to the Mid-Atlantic region were chosen to increase ecological functionality, providing habitat for birds, butterflies, and other animals, while also providing important education opportunities.  Learn more about the Discovery Center in PlanPhilly’s “Building for Discovery”. For hours, events, and programming visit

Von Colln Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Von Colln Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Von Colln Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Von Colln Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Von Colln Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Von Colln Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Von Colln Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

August 15, 2018

Von Colln Dedication Ceremony

In 2013 Ground Reconsidered led a team to redesign the beloved Von Colln Memorial Park in line with the Philadelphia Department of Parks & Recreation’s More Park, Less Way initiative to transform the area around the Benjamin Franklin Parkway into a destination and resource for those who reside near, visit and use the Parkway. On Tuesday, August 7, 2018, City officials, the design team, and children from a nearby summer camp met at Von Colln for a dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting. After remarks from Kathryn Ott Lovell, Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks & Rec, Managing Director Michael DiBerardinis, Council President Darrell Clarke, and Councilman William Greenlee, the Von Colln family joined to cut the ribbon to mark the official re-opening of Von Colln. Just moments after the ribbon was cut, kids filled the new playground and sprayground in celebration. In addition to the new playground and sprayground, improvements to the site include new pedestrian lighting, sidewalks, improved safety surfaces, and updated public restrooms.

Ground Reconsidered would like to thank our client, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, our design team members Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, Zimmerman Studios, and Morris Arboretum for helping bring the design to reality.

Learn more about the dedication ceremony from 6ABC Action News, KYW News Radio and Philly ChitChat.

Ground Reconsidered featured on Radio Times podcast

July 10, 2018

Ground Reconsidered featured in WHYY’s Radio Times

During the June 14 WHYY Radio Times program, hosted by Marty Moss-Coane, the past, present, and future of Philadelphia parks and architecture was discussed in conjunction with the opening of the Reading Viaduct Rail Park. The program features a segment with executive director of Friends of the Rail Park, Kevin Dow, while he walked with Radio Times producer Jon Ehrens in the new park. About 33 minutes in, Moss-Coane, Philadelphia Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron and architectural historian David Brownlee discuss enhancements designed by Ground Reconsidered for the iconic Benjamin Franklin Parkway over the last decade including the introduction of green stormwater infrastructure, bike lanes along the outer lanes of the Parkway, and new public parks constructed over I676 at the Free Library of Philadelphia, the former Family Court Building and Franklin Plaza.

Click here to listen to the full program on the WHYY Website.

Case Study - Ground Reconsidered x Landscape Forms

June 12, 2018

Case Study with Landscape Forms’ Studio 431

One aspect of the site design at CHOP’s Roberts Center for Pediatric Research are the sophisticated custom benches embedded in the site’s public plazas. Guided by Cooper Robertson & Partners initial concept, Ground Reconsidered worked to meticulously develop the design and adapt it to fourteen unique site conditions. Once the bench fabrication was awarded, Ground Reconsidered worked closely with Landscape Forms to fine-tune the assembly. Landscape Forms’ custom department, Studio 431, and Landscape Architects at Ground Reconsidered collaborated to ensure every nuanced detail was realized. The resulting execution was made all the more gratifying by the challenges of the design.

After the success of the project, Studio 431 interviewed Principal Karen Skafte and Senior Associate Justin DiPietro and developed a case study on the collaboration. Click here to read the case study.

Schuylkill River Trail, South Street to Christian Street
Schuylkill River Trail, South Street Plaza
Schuylkill River Trail, South Street to Christian Street Dedication Ceremony
Schuylkill River Trail, South Street to Christian Street Dedication Ceremony
Schuylkill River Trail, South Street to Christian Street Dedication Ceremony
Schuylkill River Trail, South Street to Christian Street Dedication Ceremony
Schuylkill River Trail, South Street to Christian Street Dedication Ceremony - Photo Credit: Lane Fike of Schuylkill Banks
Schuylkill River Trail, South Street to Christian Street Dedication Ceremony - Photo Credit: Lane Fike of Schuylkill Banks

April 30, 2018

Schuylkill River Trail, New Segment Dedication Ceremony

On Friday, April 20, Schuylkill Banks and CHOP Roberts Center for Pediatric Research hosted the dedication ceremony for the newest segment of the beloved Schuylkill River Trail from South Street to Christian Street. Blooms of Redbud trees and Daffodils were in attendance on the trail. Ground Reconsidered is honored to continue helping Philadelphia reclaim its riverfronts!

Many thanks to all who attended and a very special thank you to Urban Engineers, who led our team on this project. Read more about the dedication ceremony in the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Photos 7 and 8 courtesy of Lane Fike, P.E., Director of Capital Projects at Schuylkill Banks.

Associates Reconsidered (Recent promotions at Ground Reconsidered)

January 24, 2018

Associates Reconsidered

We are pleased to announce two promotions: Justin DiPietro is now a Senior Associate and Lindsay High Stanislaw has been promoted to Associate.

Justin’s thoughtful, comprehensive, and collaborative response to all aspects of the design process result in extraordinary projects. Over the past few years Justin’s work has included large scale urban public realm spaces (CHOP Roberts Center for Pediatric Research), more intimate courtyard spaces at the University of Delaware’s South Academy Residence Hall and development of integrated stormwater management strategies for several PWD planning projects.

Lindsay’s approach to landscape design and materiality stems from her careful understanding of each site and client. Her work always responds creatively and appropriately, providing beauty, delight, joy, and comfort. In recent years, Lindsay’s work has included the entry court and plazas as well as the 28th floor amenity terrace at FMC Tower, the transformation of Cira Centre’s front plaza into a destination place, and the development of rich, tapestry plantings for the University of Pennsylvania.

The Summit wins student housing award
The Summit wins student housing award
The Summit wins student housing award
The Summit wins student housing award
The Summit wins student housing award

January 19, 2018

The Summit wins Award from National Assoc. of Home Builders

Congratulations to American Campus Communities on their 2017 Multi-family Pillars of the Industry Award for Best Student Housing Rental Apartment Community for the Summit at University City! We are proud to be part of the design team with architects Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) on this complex project with many facets.

Ground Reconsidered was the Landscape Architect on the team, responsible for design and documentation of the multi-level amenity terrace built over the parking garage, the streetscape and the entry stairs. The terrace includes a fire pit, outdoor kitchen, tables and chairs, a multi-level bike parking structure, and a lounge area. The planters are designed to capture and filter stormwater from the adjacent roofs. The entry stairs provide both circulation and an occupiable space to sit and wait for friends, socialize, and collaborate.

The Summit at University City was completed in 2015 and received an Award of Excellence from the Urban Land Institute in 2016.

CHOP Roberts Center for Pediatric Research earns ENR honor
SEPTA Crum Creek Viaduct Replacement earns ENR honor (Photo by Figg Bridge Engineers Inc)

November 20, 2017

Projects Receive ENR MidAtlantic Awards

We are proud to announce that last month the Engineering News-Record’s (ENR) MidAtlantic chapter honored two projects as part of the ENR MidAtlantic’s 2017 Best Projects on which Ground Reconsidered collaborated.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Roberts Center for Pediatric Research received an Award of Merit in the Higher Education/Research category. Close coordination between design disciplines allowed for bridging the gap, literally and figuratively, between the site and its surrounding neighborhood. Ground Reconsidered designed the landscape planting, and detailed and documented over 4.5 acres of public realm space, much of which is built on top of building structure. Situated along the Schuylkill River, the site manages nearly all of its stormwater runoff with raingardens and cisterns. Lushly planted public spaces welcome visitors from South Street and the adjacent neighborhoods, and provides direct access to the popular Schuylkill River Trail via a newly constructed pedestrian bridge.

The SEPTA Crum Creek Viaduct Replacement Project received an Award of Merit in the Highways/Bridges category. While the replacement of the bridge was an engineering feat of its own, Ground Reconsidered prepared the landscape plan to restore and reestablish Crum Woods back to its ecologically rich state. The presence of Crum Creek, endemic geology, and varied topographic changes creates a naturally diverse landscape and abundant wildlife habitat. The landscape restoration plan will be nurtured over the next few years until the initial plantings are established under the care of the Crum Woods Stewardship Committee. (Photo courtesy of Figg Bridge Engineers, Inc.)

2017 ULI Awards

September 5, 2017

Two Projects Win Urban Land Institute Awards

In June, The Urban Land Institute of Philadelphia recognized two projects Ground Reconsidered collaborated on with Awards of Excellence at the 4th Annual Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III Awards. The plazas and amenity roof garden at FMC Tower at Cira Centre South (left) and the playground, sprayground, rain garden and streetscape at the South Philadelphia Community Health and Literacy Center (right) were designed by Ground Reconsidered.

Criteria for the awards include innovation in planning and design, including adaptability to other communities, sustainability, economic success, overall community health and social impact to address neighborhood revitalization goals. An independent and national panel of jurors, including leaders in real estate, land use and development from across the country, were tasked with selecting the highest quality projects.